Town of Apple Valley’s sewer rate increases called illegal by law firm (November 9, 2015)

Apple Valley, CA — In a letter delivered on November 6th to Town Manager Frank Robinson, Erik Benink of the law firm of Krause, Kalfayan, Benink, & Slavens (KKBS) — representing an Apple Valley resident — accused the Town of violating Prop. 218 procedures on five issues. Those issues include:

  1. Failure to provide notice of future rate increases
  2. Fees not proportional to costs
  3. Increases not based on actual increased treatment costs as claimed
  4. No evidence that fees do not exceed cost of providing service
  5. Fees are supporting general governmental services

The letter ends by demanding that the Town advise within ten (10) days as to whether it intends to take formal action to remedy its substantive and procedural violations and to restore to its wastewater ratepayers all illegally adopted fees during the past three years.

KKBS has successfully brought lawsuits against other city governments on behalf of citizens for Prop. 218 violations. Anaheim, Sutter Creek, Petaluma, San Diego, Pasadena, and Riverside, for example, have had to repay tens of millions of dollars for overcharging citizens. Despite the fact that the California legislature enacted Prop. 218 a year before the Town of Apple Valley incorporated in 1998, there are still cities that are not in compliance.

The Town’s H2Ours campaign has claimed that citizens will be protected from future water rate increases by Prop. 218. This is belied by the fact that the Town seems not to be abiding by Prop. 218 in areas over which it already has control, stated Greg Raven, Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability.

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